Dermatologist Dr. Katie Rodan changed the way in which acne is treated when she launched Proactiv Solution in 1993 with her business partner and fellow dermatologist, Dr. Kathy Fields. Following the success of Proactive, the two doctors joined forces again to create, Rodan + Fields Dermatologists, a targeted skincare line that is sold through more than 20,000 independent consultants nationwide. In addition, Dr. Rodan has co-authored two books with Dr. Fields and has been featured on national and local TV and radio shows. Her academic accomplishments are many: she received her B.A. in history from the University of Virginia, a medical degree from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, and completed her dermatology residency at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she now serves as an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology. Today, Dr. Rodan practices dermatology in the San Francisco Bay area, where she makes her home with her husband and two daughters.
Tell us about your history and why you chose to go in to dermatology?
Growing up I never dreamed of becoming a doctor, but a summer internship at a cardiovascular research lab during college got me hooked on medicine and changed the path of my life from history to science. From day one of medical school, I knew dermatology was my calling. Having suffered from acne as a teenager, I had firsthand experience of the huge physical and emotional toll acne takes. So, taking to heart the advice given by Dr. Farber, Chairman of Dermatology at Stanford, to “find a hobby in dermatology,” I imagined developing an acne product in my future.
I’ve always said, “acne was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It inspired me to find my calling as a practicing dermatologist and skincare product developer. It has been a privilege over the past 25 years to help people eliminate their suffering from acne and the other myriad of skin conditions impacting their identity and self-confidence.
What is your skincare and beauty philosophy?
My philosophy is twofold:
- None of us has perfect skin – me included. In my office and through my products, I love helping both my patients and customers find answers to treat their individual skincare concerns. My goal for everyone is to achieve a naturally beautiful complexion. For women, that means eliminating the need to wear heavy makeup foundation and concealer, which is indeed possible.
- When it comes to cosmetic procedures, less is more. As I tell my patients, only “natural beauty counts.” To that end, I recommend “mini-Botox” for softening lines of facial expression and conservative volume replacement with fillers. I never want my patients to look like they entered the witness protection program by giving them cherub cheeks or a porpoise pout.
Which areas of dermatology do you specialize in?
Cosmetic dermatology and acne.
In your practice, which cosmetic procedures do you find to be most commonly requested?
Many of my patients ask for the “triple plate special,” which is Botox, plus a filler and a laser procedure. Addressing the face as a whole by artistically and subtlety tweaking minor flaws and asymmetries, restores the “I’ve just been on vacation” look.
What 3 products from the Rodan + Field line do you especially love?
If I had to narrow it down to just 3, I would say the ANTI-AGE Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30, the ANTI-AGE AMP MD System and REVERSE Deep Exfoliating Wash.
What new developments in dermatology and skincare are you excited about?
In terms of skincare, I am really excited about the advance of at-home devices. Our mission is to bring many of the tools and products we use in our medical office into the homes of our patients and customers. We have some fantastic new inventions in the pipeline at Rodan + Fields.
In the dermatology office, I am excited about the next generation of fillers, including ones’ own cloned skin, as well as another new filler on the horizon for greater and longer lasting volume restoration. I’m also looking forward to newer generations of facial tightening lasers. Pretty soon, facelifts will become an extinct surgical procedure. In the past 6 months, my favorite “toy” has been a thin cannula in place of a needle for cosmetic injections. Because it practically eliminates bruising and discomfort, we’ve thankfully banned from the office lexicon the adage “no pain no gain.”